Weird tagging issue

Brian May brian at
Sun Mar 22 14:22:51 PDT 2020

Daniel Kahn Gillmor <dkg at> writes:

> This sounds really confusing, and i'm not sure how to help you debug. :/
> when you say "recreated the entire database", do you mean you dropped
> all tags and everything, and reindexed the entire datastore?

Yes, that is correct. I basically deleted "~/Maildir/.notmuch" and then
ran "notmuch new". After confirming that the problem still existed, I
then restored the backup of my tags,

> Does the thread that you were working with contain any sensitive or
> private messages?  If not, can you isolate the specific files from the
> maildir that compose the thread (e.g. with a manual grep) and try to
> recreate the failure with a smaller maildir and dedicated notmuch
> database?  I know this is tedious, but if you can do it and share the
> maildir, then it would help other folks reproduce the problem and dig
> into it further.

These are messages associated with a pull request for a private
bitbucket repository owned by my employee, So I probably should not make
them public :-(

> if i was debugging this locally and i had a dedicated maildir that
> demonstrated the problem, i'd probably try to inspect the xapian
> database (e.g. with xapian-delve).  There are several folks on the
> #notmuch channel on freenode that can probably give pointers.

Fortunately that particular pull request has been merged now, I probably
don't have to worry anymore. However would be interested to know what

My suspicion is that bitbucket generated a bad email - maybe bad headers
or something, which has totally confused things,

The Message-ID values look fine. Although oddly enough there are several
different formats, but this shouldn't be an issue:

=== cut ===
$ grep '^Message-ID' $(grep -ri -l 'Pull request #88: Add webdriver support' Maildir)Maildir/cur/1584486508.24564_0.wspdigital:2,S:Message-ID: <prcomment-140593878 at>
Maildir/cur/1584486509.24570_0.wspdigital:2,S:Message-ID: <prcomment-140593988 at>
Maildir/cur/1584487127.27595_0.wspdigital:2,S:Message-ID: <pr-wspdigital/bupaoshc/88/reviewer-added/890f2cb2ad474cc3bb57fc13240d937e at>
Maildir/cur/1584487437.29402_0.wspdigital:2,S:Message-ID: <pr-wspdigital/bupaoshc/88/updated/30ab9d5a64ad496994135e8b6d1fc728 at>
Maildir/cur/1584494811.24972_0.wspdigital:2,S:Message-ID: <prcomment-140603506 at>
Maildir/cur/1584494813.25016_0.wspdigital:2,S:Message-ID: <prcomment-140603560 at>
Maildir/cur/1584567341.22359_0.wspdigital:2,S:Message-ID: <prcomment-140819210 at>
Maildir/cur/1584505808.24160_0.wspdigital:2,S:Message-ID: <prcomment-140615930 at>
Maildir/cur/1584506116.25523_0.wspdigital:2,S:Message-ID: <prcomment-140615994 at>
=== cut ===

Hmmmm. Maybe the References header is bad. I see a number of emails in
this thread referencing "pr-wspdigital/bupaoshc/88 at", e.g.:

=== cut ===
References: <pr-wspdigital/bupaoshc/88 at>
 <prcomment-140582662 at>

References: <pr-wspdigital/bupaoshc/88 at>

References: <pr-wspdigital/bupaoshc/88 at>
 <pr-wspdigital/bupaoshc/88 at>
=== cut ===

But "pr-wspdigital/bupaoshc/88 at" doesn't have any
information uniquely identifying a particular message for PR #88, and
furthermore I don't see any message ids that look like this in this

I could imagine bad references might be confusing notmuch?

I guess I should wait and see if the problem happens again.
Brian May <brian at>

More information about the notmuch mailing list